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Keywords:

  • Cebus apella;
  • capuchin;
  • infant;
  • development;
  • social behavior

Abstract

The development and individual stability of three intimate social behaviors (Lipsmacking, Carrying Attempts, and Facial Inspection) were examined for 43 group-housed Cebus apella infants from birth to 2 years of age. Occurrence of these behaviors was scored from 10-min videotape samples recorded three times a week over that time. Frequency of Lipsmacking and Carrying Attempts by adult males, adult females, and juveniles were all highest in early months and decreased to low levels by the end of the first year. Facial Inspection of partners by infants, in contrast, first began at 3–4 months and increased over time, at least to adult males and juveniles. Correlational analyses indicated stable individual differences in these interactions with infants and outlined a relationship between these intimate behaviors and more general social patterns reported previously for these animals. Results suggest that adult males may play a special role in affording juveniles opportunities for social learning of foraging and manipulative skills. Am. J. Primatol. 71:77–85, 2009. Published 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.